The first shoe has dropped.
The Toronto Raptors have traded forward OG Anunoby along with forward Precious Achiuwa and guard Malichi Flynn to the New York Knicks. In return, they receive hometown product RJ Barrett and guard Immanuel Quickley plus a 2024 2nd round pick, which is courtesy of the Detroit Pistons.
This is a move that caught a lot of people off guard as the Raptors have held onto OG Anunoby amidst trade talks over the last few seasons. OG has been coveted as one of the league’s premier 3 and D players that has attracted as much as 5 first round picks in exchange for the wing-defender. Still, Masai has not made a move until now.
The trade makes sense for the Knicks as they’ve needed to bolster their defense as they’ve lost center Mitchell Robinson for the remainder of the season. They also received Raptors’ forward Precious Achiuwa and guard Malachi Flynn.
While it’s sad to see these players go, it was obvious that both of their roles were diminishing and it just wasn’t working in the grand scheme of things for both Precious and Malachi. The Raptors do lose OG’s defensive presence but with an expiring contract, it felt almost immanent that a trade was going to happen. The Knicks will be a good fit but they’re receiving a player in Anunoby who has vocalized wanting more touches on offense. I imagine that to be tough with a squad that has Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle. RJ had seen his scoring drop a few points since Jalen Brunson joined the Knicks. With Barrett logging 18.2 PPG on 42% shooting, it’s hard to imagine OG producing more than those numbers.
Let’s take stock of what the Raptors are getting in return. A homecoming of sorts, RJ Barrett makes his way to Toronto and brings his prolific scoring abilities. Although not at the greatest of shooting percentages, the Raptors’ player development has proven to build on the skills that players like RJ bring to the table. Look no further than Scottie Barnes. His defense could use improvement but again, these are things the Raptors can work on once he’s comfortable in Darko’s system. With a four-year, $107 million deal that he signed ahead of the 2022/2023 season, this is a manageable contract.
The asset that the Raptors are receiving which has Knicks fans rattled is guard Immanuel Quickley who was runner up for the NBA’s 6 Man of the Year award in the 2022/23 campaign. He averaged 22.6 PPG last season as this is a guard that the Raptors can really use to complement Scottie. The question mark around Quickley is his contract as he was not able to reach a rookie extension with the Knicks. He’ll likely look for a deal in the neighborhood of 5-years, $135 million ($27 million/year).
But the biggest question mark following the OG trade is the Raptors’ trajectory. Whether this signifies the beginning of a rebuild or re-tooling the assets they already have, this all seems to hang on whether or not Pascal SIakam is extended. Many believe the trade signifies an extension for Pascal, however, the more time passes following the trade, another transaction could be looming as we begin to approach the deadline on February 8th, 2024.
THOUGHTS ON THE OG TRADE? Raptors Receive: RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, 2024 second round pick (via Pistons) Knicks Receive: OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa, Malichi Flynn #raptors #knicks #knicksbasketball #raptorsnation #wethenorth
All in all, this is a good trade that suits both parties. Anunoby is a good fit for the Knicks, Barrett and Quickley also address the Raptors’ needs. Toronto fans would have liked one of New York’s many first round picks instead of the second, but at least it’s courtesy of the abysmal Pistons, which is almost a late first.
Stay tuned for more movement within the organization and around the league.
Touring stand-up comic with Yuk Yuk’s. Host of the ‘Down By Two’ Podcast and ‘DB2 Bets.’ Take him on the over.